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American will discount short-haul awards

There's been precious little good news for the traveling public lately, so it comes as a welcome relief to report a positive development at the world's largest airline.

American is reprising its AAdvantage Short-Hop awards, allowing members of its loyalty program to book round-trip awards on routes under 750 miles each way for 15,000 miles—a savings of 10,000 miles over the normal 25,000-mile price.

The discounted prices are being offered as a promotion, on a limited-time basis, for award travel between September 1, 2007, and February 29, 2008, on nonstop flights operated by American, American Eagle or AmericanConnection carriers.

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In its news release, American lists the routes which would qualify for the discount: Dallas/Fort Worth to Denver, Chicago to Atlanta, Chicago to New York, Miami to New Orleans, Los Angeles to San Francisco, and Boston to Raleigh/Durham. That's not meant to be a complete list, but it makes the point that some popular routes are eligible.

Not to quibble with a good thing, but it could be better. Why not, for example, apply a similar short-haul discount for first-class awards, or for unrestricted awards?

Still, anything that adds to the program's overall value—especially improvements on the program's award side—is a step in the right direction.

Visit American's site for details.

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